Sunday Laptop Deals Run-Down For August 17, 2008

It's that time of the week ago.  What's a good laptop this week from the megastores for your mobile life.  To start off there is a Office Max deal, a bundle really, for $700.  What do you get?
HP Pavilion Notebook Bundle (Pavilion dv6911, C4480, SwissGear Backpack)
  • 3GB RAM
  • T5550, 1.83Ghz
  • Webcam
  • 200GB HD
  • Vista
  • Printer C4480, 30ppm black, 23 ppm color
  • media card reader
Is this a good deal?  The chip is Core 2 Duo and slightly slower than its 2.0Ghz brethren.  Compared to the Dell Studio 1535, it has a smaller hard drive but makes it up with a printer and a backpack as part of the bundle.  
Given the bundle, it should work seamless as both the laptop and printer are both made by HP.  C4480 All-In-One Printer (print, copies, scans, no fax) being sold for $60 on amazon while HP and Apple has it for $100.  I
It's a decent deal but nothing I would rush out to get.  Compared to Dell, I would just get this over it.  Without the bundle, the Pavilion costs about $600-650.  In total, buyers may be looking at a savings of $40-$70 dollars.  
Now this week's laptops from the stores:

The notable this week comes from Office Depot with the Toshiba laptop.  It offers a USB charger that continues to charge your iPods even when the machine is still off.  In addition, you can pick up MS Office for $100 more.  There is also an FM Tuner if you want to listen to the radio while you hack out a report for your client or fine-tune your lab report for your o-chem class (I was a biochemistry major).

I also like the DV5-1002NR from Best Buy.  If you do get this one, make sure you bring your ad.  The online price is $20 more.  There is also the DV5-1004NR that did not meet Onxo's cut.  The 1004 version cost $850, that's $200 more than the 2002 version.  What's the different?  A faster chip.  You can decide for yourself if a 100mhz different is worth the premium.

As always, there are Macbooks.  Rumblings from the Internet this week is that the Macbook Air is due for an upgrade in CPU, memory, and the systems within it.  This is like to happen any day now, as it is being reported.  I don't buy it.  Apple is in the midst of their back to school deal (free iPod Touch with purpose of Macbook for faculties and college students only) and they are concentrating on their iPhone launches in the next few weeks.  Apple has a lot on its plate.  We will not be seeing any new Macbooks until late September.

Also note the amount of memory that comes with the laptop.  3 or 4GB.  As a rule of thumb, more memory the better.  So, we'll start looking at laptops with 4GB unless we see a 3GB laptop with a killer price.  I've noticed a lot of older models with 2 or 3GB with great prices but don't be deceived.  These laptops also typically sport older chipsets and subsystems.  If you're not sure, do a bit of research.

MORE MEMORY:  Now, we're going to tell you something you're not going to like.  4GB is great but let's be honest, I'm beginning to see systems that offer up to 8GB.  You may want to keep an eye on that.  Windows 7 is coming out in 2010.  OS X Snow Leopard will under a slime-down and some tuning to streamline application footprint but I'm betting we're still headed in the direction where 8GB would be ideal.

It really depends on how long you'll be keeping your laptop.  For most of mobile warriors out there, there is nothing for us to worry at this time.  But don't be surprised over the next year when system requirements, not just minimum memory requirements, are greatly increased.

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